A/N: First off, thank you for giving my story a chance :) If you finish reading and choose to review, please let me know whether or not you think I should keep the T rating or change it to M. There shouldn't be any hardcore swearing, drinking, etc. but just tell me what you think! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the "classic" opening scene. Thanks :)
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, movies, etc.
1. Home Alone
All Hallow's Eve. October 31st. Or as some like to call it, Halloween. When most people think of it, they picture kids in cheesy, over the top witch, devil, and princess costumes screaming trick or treat to random strangers. Some use it as an excuse to be someone else for a day or to indulge in all their favorite Halloween sweets like candy corn and caramel apples. Others like to acknowledge it for its seemingly true, evil, spirit-churning background. So, they attempt things like séances and Ouija boards.
Then, there are people like young, seventeen-year old Terra Markov, whose favorite part of the day was lounging back on the couch, popping popcorn, eating all of the leftover trick or treat candy, and binge watching all of the horror movies on Netflix. She wasn't much of a people's person so dressing up in a slutty leotard, black fishnets, and a kitty headband and being sexually harassed and catcalled all night at a tasteless, high school, Halloween party wasn't exactly her idea of fun. In fact, there was no better way to spend Halloween night than cozying up with your favorite blanket and scaring yourself to sleep.
But this year was a little different. A part of her almost wished she was surrounded by friends or at least her new foster parents, who were partying themselves away at their neighbor's home. After Beast Boy from the Teen Titans had tried so hard to convince her that she was one of them, she'd been having dreams about her soaring through the sky on flying rocks and controlling the earth with her hands and basically feeling invincible. She had even felt herself being in love with the green, shapeshifting teen as they shared the moonlight on a deserted Ferris Wheel in the middle of the night and skipped rocks from the shore of the bay.
But those dreams were rare. Nightmares were what mostly populated her mind each night. Horrible images of her betraying the Titans with an empty-hearted, death-ridden man named Slade plagued her nights. She was slowly beginning to think this Slade guy's heart and mind was as robotic as the armor that covered his body. He was inhuman and ruthless. He had slowly tricked her into believing she could never be worthy or good enough to be a hero and manipulated her heart into an icicle as subzero as his.
Yet, the nightmares featuring Slade still hadn't been the worst of all. That title had been given to the one she'd had the night before. Last night, she had witnessed her own suicide. She had seen herself using her own powers to end her life while simultaneously saving the lives of her former friends. She knew death was inevitable but to witness her own was unfathomable. She could never view the world the same again. In her vision, dying felt cold and lonely. Empty and like her soul never existed. Thinking about a world where you never existed was frightening to say the least. And thinking of a world where you'd never exist again was endless terror and uneasiness.
Ring, ring. "Ah!" Terra jumped out of her thoughts from the vibration of her cell phone. She was currently watching Scream, so any sudden noise or movement, especially from a phone was unwelcomed.
She looked down at the screen and noticed there was no contact picture or number. In fact, all it said was Unknown. The bottom of the screen gave her the option to accept or decline the random call. Her smart conscious told her to decline. This wasn't 1996 or a Scream movie. It was twenty years later which thankfully meant she had caller ID, so if she didn't want to answer, she didn't have to.
However, her bored and lonely heart told her to touch the green accept. What harm could it do? It wasn't like the person knew her location. In fact, it was probably just one of her friends from her new school pranking her because she skipped the party. This was probably their way of scaring her enough to force her out of the house. They wanted her to be social and fun, but she was the exact opposite. She was used to being alone and awkward. Yet, she knew she'd have to change eventually, so she decided to play along.
She slowly reached her thumb to the bottom right side of her screen, but before she could click it, the call disappeared. She let out a relieved sigh. Now, she didn't have to worry about whether or not she was making a dumb decision.
Ring, ring! Before she could even get fully relaxed, the ringer went off again, making her almost drop the device. Somehow this time it seemed much louder. She closed her bright blue eyes and took a few deep breaths in order to stay calm. There was nothing to be scared of.
Then, on an impulse, she answered the phone with a shaky voice, "Hello?"
"Hello, Sidney," a sinister voice replied with a snicker.
Terra almost dropped the phone from shock, but then remembered her name wasn't Sidney. She glanced back at her family's television and saw Sidney herself was also on the phone, which meant the person on the other end of her line hadn't replied yet.
"Hello!" This time she screamed with annoyance. "Is anyone there?"
"May I speak to Terra?" A loud, masculine voice suddenly blared through the speaker. He sounded desperate and anxious, like his life depended on speaking to her.
"This is she," Terra replied a little calmer. Now, she was sure it was just one of her friends pulling her foot. "Who am I speaking to?"
Out of nowhere, the voice turned more sinister and teasing like Ghostface's. The stranger let out a barely audible chuckle and answered, "Let's just say an old friend."
"Well," Terra started harshly and pulled a string of her long, blonde hair nervously, "what do you want?"
"That's no way to talk to a friend, Terra," the voice pestered with another heartless chortle. "I just want to talk."
Terra folded her arm under the elbow of the one holding the phone and hugged herself closer. "Okay…about what?"
"Movies," he replied swiftly and simply.
Terra rolled her large, baby blue eyes at that and plopped back on the soft, blood red sofa of her new living room. She picked up the remote and made the volume a little louder. She'd seen the movie probably over a hundred times yet it was still more entertaining than whoever was currently on the phone with her.
"Oh yeah?" she finally said back and picked up a popped kernel out of her large bowl of popcorn. "I'm watching a movie right now." And with that, she tossed the piece in her mouth.
"Scream," the voice said delicately, but there was nothing sweet about it.
Terra dropped the handful of popcorn in her palms back into the bowl. The ones already in her mouth slowly fell out when she asked, "How'd you know that?"
The person cackled at her fear and answered, "I can hear it in the background. It's one of my favorites."
Terra nodded to herself matter-of-factly and tossed more popcorn into her mouth. Duh, he could hear it in the background with as loud as she had made the TV. That should've been obvious.
"Why is it your favorite?" she continued to play along.
Then, the voice responded bluntly, "Because it influenced me to be who I am today."
The blonde teen shot up in her seat. Did he just admit to being a murderer? She wasn't exactly sure if it was her friends anymore. Truthfully, whoever it was, was really starting to creep her out. She'd almost rather be talking to her creepy, ex-father figure, Slade. At first, it was fun to play along, but now whoever it might be was taking it way too far.
In all honesty, she was completely speechless. She had no idea what to say. And before she could muster up something, the voice spoke again. "What's your favorite movie?"
Terra let out a tired sigh. She had to stay calm or she'd just end up giving the person what he wanted. The person was clearly just trying to scare her, but she wasn't going to let him succeed that easily. She was tougher than that. She used to be able to move the earth for Pete's sake.
"Home Alone," she remarked and turned the volume back down. The loud horror music wasn't exactly what she needed to be hearing right now. It only managed to freak her out more.
The sinister voice laughed a hearty laugh which actually caused a small smile to grace Terra's face. With a laugh like that, this person couldn't truly be evil. "What's your favorite scene?" he asked.
"Um," Terra started with a finger to her chin, then a lightbulb went off in her head. "This is probably typical, but when he puts that aftershave on his face and lets out that painful scream. Gets me every time!"
Out of nowhere, the voice was deadly and blood-curling once again, "What if I told you I could make you scream the same way?"
Terra blinked a few times and cautiously looked around the room. The moment he said that it was like a sudden feeling of realization washed over her. She no longer felt like she was home alone. In fact, she was pretty sure there was another presence inside the large, two-story house.
"I'd say who is this really?" she shouted into the receiver and jumped out of her once comfortable seat. She turned her body 360 degrees, checking every corner and open area from her place in front of the couch. There was no way this person was going to scare her.
"I told you an old friend," he teased and let out a loud cackle.
Terra brushed her long, blonde locks nervously with her free hand and sprinted to the kitchen. She checked every corner, every cabinet, behind the refrigerator, even inside the oven for an intruder. However, it was seemingly empty and she even began to feel like she was overreacting. But she was smart and knew it was better to be safe than sorry.
She rushed over to the knife rack, but somehow every knife except the butter knife was missing out its slot. She ran over and frantically searched the utensil drawer, but there were still no knives to be found. Her last option was the dishwasher. She opened it only to see not one dish in the machine.
Her body slowly began to tremble from anxiety. Why didn't she pause that damn movie? It was giving her unnecessary fear and body tremors with its suspenseful music and loud screams. Not to mention, the house was eerily quiet everywhere else. Not even the voice on the phone was speaking, but she could swear she heard the constant rhythm of the person's breath.
"Hello?" she cautiously called and leaned back on the counter. She was panting heavily but there was no way her breathing would slow now.
"I see yoooouuuu!" the voice sang mockingly; it sent instant shivers up Terra's spine.
Her heart halted as she looked around the room once again, but there was no one in sight. She raised the blinds to the window above the sink but there was no one outside except the people partying at the neighbors' house. She quickly turned back around to make sure no one had suddenly popped up. This person had to be just messing with her, but there was no way she was going in any other room by herself.
"I'll have you know I'm friends with the Teen Titans. All I have to do is call and they'll come take you down!" she screamed into the receiver, grasping the phone as tightly as she could. She knew all she had to do was hang up the phone, but a part of her felt like she would regret it if she did. There was no way the person could sneak up on her while talking to her.
The voice let out his signature snicker and remarked, "Silly child. I could demolish the Titans with the flick of my finger."
"Go to hell!" she retorted back. It was all she could think of as tears ran down her soft, round face. "What do you want from me?"
"I'll end this call if you answer one more question." Terra tried to calm down once more. The voice sounded sincere in that last statement; it almost proved that it was just someone doing this to her for their own entertainment.
"O-okay," she stuttered and wiped her tears with her free hand, "what is it?"
"Isn't it ironic how Randy doesn't know the killer's behind him?" This time the voice sounded fuzzy like he was losing his signal or his phone was acting up. Serves him right.
Terra glanced at the small view of the television she had from the kitchen. The character on the movie was relaxing on the couch watching another classic horror movie. He was screaming at the character on his screen to run because her movie's killer was behind her, but unbeknownst to him, the killer in his world was also behind him.
Then, realization hit Terra like a bat smacking a baseball out of field. His voice hadn't been fuzzy because his phone was acting up; it was fuzzy because his voice had been echoing through her receiver!
"How is it iro…nic," she slowly began while at the same time bit by bit turning her head to the side.
It didn't take a genius to know that there was someone behind her. Before she could run, the stranger yanked her by her hair and pulled her into a chokehold. She squirmed and scratched as much as she could but the intruder's body was covered in a black robe similar to Ghostface's. She wanted to scream out for help to the party guests she could see through the blinds, but the moment her lips parted her neck was met with cold sharpness.
"Please!" she begged for her life, but it came out low and harsh due to his firm grip around her neck.
Suddenly, she felt a bolt of adrenaline run through her. She elbowed the criminal in his gut causing him to drop his hold. She took off faster than her ex-Titan friend, Kid Flash, and scurried towards her front door. Soon as she opened the door, she quickly glanced back to see how close the killer was. But to her surprise, he was gone.
"What the?!" she screamed nervously and looked around again. She slowly backed out of her front door with her back facing the outside world. There was no possible way he could disappear that fast.
'Unless,' she thought and looked at the side door in the kitchen. It was wide open.
Suddenly, without warning, she felt cold, sharp metal piercing through her clothes and digging into her back. The killer had dragged a butcher knife from the bottom of her right shoulder to the lower left side of her back. Terra let out a deafening scream as she fell face forward into the foyer of her home. She barely felt the pain, but she surely heard the cold, blank sound of death calling her name. Yet, there was no way she was giving up this easily.
She could feel the presence of the knife coming close to her back once again. She quickly rolled out of the way, causing the killer to stab the knife right through the wooden floor. She watched as he struggled to pull the weapon out the tough wood and took it to her advantage. She picked up one of the heavy, marble-filled, glass vases lining the entrance and wacked him upside the noggin. She didn't even take a second to see if it'd knocked him out.
Quickly, she took off running through the door and down the steps of her porch as fast as she could with such a deep, fresh wound in her back. She could feel and almost smell the thickness of the blood pouring down her back under her thick, cozy sweater. The thick, cozy sweater she was supposed to be falling asleep in at this very moment. But instead here she was fighting for her life.
As she walked further and further away from her home, she realized she wasn't walking very far at all. Her vision was hazy and she felt extremely woozy. In fact, she suddenly had no idea what was going on anymore. She didn't know who she was or where she was. All she knew was she was beginning to tumble to the ground.
Unfortunately for her, all of the party guests had found their way back inside the party. And the ones who were still prancing around outside were too drunk to notice her. And to make matters worse, it was way too late for anyone to still be trick or treating, so there were no more strays on the street.
Then, out of nowhere, a figure in a black robe and frightening white mask hovered over her, making her remember exactly what was going on. But before she could react, the figure raised his arm showing off the bloody, sharp knife in his hand. He wasted no time bringing it down to her chest and stabbing her in the heart over and over again.
Terra's ability to move disappeared with each puncture of her body. Tears ran down her face in puddles and soon turned red as the blood from her wounds splattered and mixed with their saltiness.
'This is it,' she cried to herself inside. She'd never be able to admit to Beast Boy that she remembered. She'd never have the chance to be a Titan or anything else but a memory ever again.
She never thought she'd be able to feel her breath leaving her body or the actual breaking of her heart. After watching so many horror movies, she always assumed if she was ever in their position she'd fight as long as she could. As long as she was breathing, she'd be fighting. But she was beginning to realize that in reality, you never knew how you would react to such frightening, life or death situations, and you never knew just how quickly you'd give up.
Until it happened to you. And now here she was, slowly succumbing to the icy, lonely abyss of death.
It was a quiet, serene morning in Titans Tower as Robin slipped out of his pajamas and into his traffic light-colored uniform. He knew the silence would soon disappear as it was only present because he was the only one awake at this hour. Moments later, Beast Boy and Cyborg would be fussing over who makes the best breakfast, Starfire would be laughing and giggling about some unknown holiday on her planet, and Raven's tea kettle would be going off, signaling the finished product.
And while all of them were going through their normal routine, he'd be following up with any important news or leads he might've missed overnight. Then, they'd all go on to their various activities of the day. Beast Boy would probably play video games with random strangers over the internet, Cyborg would probably be working on his latest invention, Starfire would most likely be painting her nails or dancing around to happy music, Raven would either be reading a long novel or meditating, while Robin would still be obsessing over criminals. Eventually, the alarm would go off, and they'd go off to fight whatever villain decided to interrupt their lives, they'd win the fight, throw the villain in a cell, and go on about their day. Needless to say, it would be a usual day in Titans Tower.
At least, that's what Robin believed when he woke up that morning. But little did he know, that was far from the truth. And he would discover that very soon.
"Dude, tofu has just as many proteins as fish," Beast Boy attempted to sway Cyborg into eating the manufactured meat he had prepared for the team despite the fact that he was the only one who ever actually ate it.
Cyborg's face twisted in disgust as the odor of the fake meat filled his nostrils. "Man, no one wants that. Dog food looks more appetizing." And with that, he walked over to the dining table and began digging into his plate full of fish and grits.
"Actually," Beast Boy began with a raise of his finger, "dog food's pretty good."
Robin sighed as he poured his freshly made, black coffee into his favorite, red, Robin-logoed mug. He took a sip and almost burned his tongue with the scorching hot liquid. He didn't know what made him try to drink the steaming beverage. Maybe it was the urging desire to be fully awake and away from Cyborg and Beast Boy's constant, brotherly arguments.
"Good morning, Friends!" Starfire's lively energy suddenly burst through the automatic doors that led to the living area. She immediately floated over to the two sibling-like Titans and greeted them with an enormous, warm smile. "It is such a glorious day is it not?"
"Uh, yeah, whatever you say, Star," Beast Boy uttered before stuffing a mouth full of vegan eggs in between his sharp teeth.
"Morning, Star," Robin added as he walked over to the trio. He stood next to the redhead, causing her to blush with giddiness and asked, "Where's Raven? She's usually the second one up."
"Probably somewhere being mean and creepy as usual," Beast Boy joked and took a sip of his bright orange juice.
"Friend Raven has been better since defeating her father, no?" Starfire asked next. She had long ago noticed Raven's efforts to be more social and less standoffish ever since overcoming the reign her demonic father, Trigon, had on her powers and emotions. However, she was still learning how to control her powers and prevent them from going haywire, so Star wasn't quite sure their friends had noticed her efforts as well.
"Yeah, she has," Robin replied after a minute. He had noticed her tiny but meaningful tries as well and was patiently awaiting the day the violet-haired teen would be fully comfortable being herself around the team. He knew it would take some time, but he was willing to help her along the way if she just let him.
"She has what?" A monotone voice suddenly startled the four. They all slowly turned their heads towards the door to see a blue-hooded figured making her way towards them.
"Uhh," Robin started nervously, causing BB and Cy to laugh at his obvious fear.
"We were just talking about how happy you've been since defeating your father," Starfire exaggerated with her hands happily clasped in front of her.
Raven smirked and continued into the kitchen to prepare her daily tea. "Different, yes? Happy, not exactly."
This threw Robin for a loop. As leader of the team, it was his job to make sure all of his teammates were at least content and comfortable in their skin. How could you be a hero to others when you yourself needed saving? Not to mention, he really cared about his friends, and his happiness depended on their happiness.
"You aren't happy, Raven?" he questioned cautiously, but his communicator went off before the dark teen could answer, even though she probably would've just given him the run around anyway.
The ebony-haired leader glanced down at the screen of his communicator and saw Bumblebee's usually fearless face looking lost and confused. "How's everyone doing?" she asked gently. It was almost as if she was scared everyone would fall apart just from hearing her question.
"We're all pretty great," Robin immediately replied and snuck a quick peep at Raven's droopy figure sipping her tea. Well, at least most of them were great.
Bumblebee raised an eyebrow but kept the sad tone in her voice, "How's Beast Boy taking it? Everyone's pretty depressed and speechless over here."
Robin eyed Beast Boy for an explanation but he just hunched an unknowing shoulder. "What do you mean how's he taking it? What's wrong? What's going on?"
"You haven't heard?" the light brown-eyed teen was clearly in disbelief as she left her mouth agape. Robin swallowed a large gulp of panic and shook his head side to side. "Turn on the news. It's being broadcasted everywhere."
Robin nodded to the girl on the screen and motioned for Cyborg to turn on the large television. All of the Titans slowly maneuvered towards the couch as Cyborg searched for the first news channel he could find. Needless to say, it didn't take long.
Plop! The remote sounded off as it fell from Cyborg's large, mechanical hand and into the glass coffee table before plummeting to the ground. Starfire's tall, lean body came next as she fainted to the floor, almost hitting her head on the arm of the sofa; Cyborg immediately ran over to see if she was okay. Raven couldn't manage to do anything but remove her hood and reach over to grab Beast Boy's trembling hand. Robin was completely motionless and wordless standing behind the sofa that held a crying Beast Boy and a shaken Raven.
And this was all because at the bottom of the television screen read: Breaking News: Former Teen Titan Brutally Murdered. Above that banner was a recent school picture of a bright, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, smiling Terra in her schoolgirl uniform. On the other side of that picture was Terra in her fighting days on top of a rock in her signature cropped, black, turtleneck and form-fitting, yellow shorts with her soft blue eyes hiding behind her favorite goggles.
"No!" Beast Boy suddenly roared as he jumped from the couch. He frantically picked the remote up from the ground and began flicking through the channels, only to see the same news story with just different pictures and reporters. "This can't be true."
"BB," Cyborg eased slowly as he slowly stepped towards him, "calm down. It's going to be okay. Just give me the remote."
"No!" Beast Boy bellowed and jerked away from the taller, half metal teen. He continued flipping through the channels, but finally stopped when he saw one news station broadcasting an old photo of him and the blonde. Her smile was still infectious even through the sudden pain he was enduring, but the joy from seeing it didn't last long as he remembered he'd never see it in person again.
Raven stood up next and made an attempt at being empathetic. "Beast Boy, we're here for you. Terra wouldn't want you to lose it."
"How would you know?" he shouted in her face, making her take a fearful step back in her blue, ankle booties. "You never liked her anyway! You were probably glad she was dead before and you're probably glad she's dead for good this time!"
Raven gasped quietly, appalled that he would think so badly of her. She knew he loved Terra but it was common knowledge that he had a never-ending crush on her as well. "Beast Boy, Terra was my friend, too," she uttered angrily with balled fists.
"Why don't you go back to hell with your father?" he retorted before throwing the remote at one of the ceiling high windows of the tower.
He turned to storm out of the room but was caught by Robin's strong, protective arms. He tried to fight out of his grip, but it was no use. There was no way Robin was going to let him suffer through this alone.
"Beast Boy, it's okay to cry," Robin mumbled and looked at Raven and Cyborg. "That goes for you two, too. I think it's obvious we're all hurt by this. But the great thing is we're a team, and we're going to help each other survive through this difficult mourning period. Because that's what friends and family do, and I refuse to let this send any of us into a spiraling hell."
"You're right," Cyborg agreed with a nod and glanced at Starfire's motionless body that was now lying on the couch. This was all too much for him to comprehend right now.
"I agree," Raven finally whispered with her violet eyes lowered to the ground as well.
Robin looked down at the bawling Beast Boy in his arms. "Beast Boy?"
"Whatever you say, Robin," the green changeling mumbled and finally pulled away from the boy, this time succeeding in storming out of the room.
Robin held up his communicator and noticed Bumblebee was still waiting for him to respond to her. She had been softly crying as well as she listened to her Westside teammates' reactions to the news. Everyone was truly filled with nothing but hurt and pain.
"Raven and Cy, get Star to the infirmary. Make sure she's okay," Robin ordered to his emotionally stronger teammates, then turned back to an anxious Bee. "Bumblebee, I need you to help me get every Titan and honorary Titan to Jump City ASAP. We're going to do all it takes to solve this murder if it's the last thing we do."